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12-02-2009, 01:15 PM   #1
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Affordable wide angle?

Is it possible? Every wide angle and fish eye lens I ever see costs more than I'm worth so who makes a wide and decently fast lens a normal person can actually afford????

12-02-2009, 01:27 PM   #2
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sigma 10-20 (the older non-3.5 version)
12-02-2009, 01:30 PM   #3
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Aww, don't devalue yourself *that* much! You're at least worth a few bucks.

You'll have to know what your budget will be and what focal length you want to go to, as wide angles are notoriously expensive, especially the ultra-wides.

If 16mm is wide enough for you, then I can highly recommend the DA 16-45, which goes for around $250 2nd hand. It's a fine lens that closely rivals the top lenses in image quality (IQ), but it is an f/4 max lens.

But if 18mm is wide enough, then why not just have the kit lens (unless you already have it). It goes for a lot cheaper still and has reasonable IQ.

But if neither are wide enough, then I'm afraid you'll be struggling to find a wider lens for anywhere near these costs, manual or auto focus. You may want to consider, however, a DA 14 f/2.8, which has good IQ also, built well and is in the order of $450-500 (I sold mine for $325 last year ). Other than that, then it's the Sigma mentioned above.
12-02-2009, 01:49 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by kenyee Quote
sigma 10-20 (the older non-3.5 version)
The 10-20 would be considered an ultra-wide. There are older K-mount and M42 mount options that you could explore.
28mm would be the cheapest and most common probably. It's at the long end of wide but nevertheless, a pretty good length for shooting with.
There is also the 18-55 kit lens which can be had for good prices in the Marketplace here
and other places.
It really depends on what you want to shoot, that will determine how wide (and how fast) you need.

12-02-2009, 02:24 PM   #5
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I agree with Ash. The DA 16-45/4 used to be $400 three or four years ago, and although it was cheaper at one point, it's still $400 new. Few other Pentax lenses are close to their former price, and this is I think the cheapest new option to get to 16mm. If $400 is not affordable, used lenses are plentiful and a real bargain as people upgrade. I got mine last year in the marketplace for an excellent price.

On paper, you can agonize over whether this lens is worth it over the kit lens. I have really noticed a step up in IQ as I've used it. Someone has probably done formal tests. I did see a comparison between it and the DA* 16-50, and at the wide end, the DA 16-45 was equal or better.

I have heard this lens is not great at the long end, and sometimes stopping at 45mm is annoying. I can supplement the longer end with fast primes, so I don't really need the long end to be perfect. It's an excuse to carry a 50/55, or maybe a 40/70 pair if you have them. The lens is slightly bulkier than the DA 18-55 and uses 67mm filters, not a big issue after I rearranged my bag a bit. It is heavier than the kit too, of course.
12-02-2009, 04:08 PM   #6
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Are we talking film wide or digital wide? For film, the manual 28's and 24 are not expensive at all - especially the 28's, which are often well under $100. For digital, it gets tougher. But the Zenitar 16/2.8 fisheye would be the obvious starting point at around $200 (and it works, and is much wider, on film too!)
12-02-2009, 09:17 PM   #7
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I'm actually in the process of switching over to digital and pretty much any lens I buy from now on I'd like to be compatible with both my film and digital bodies. All I really want is a wide angle with the little driveshaft hookup so it will autofocus...if its necesarilly a "digital" lens or not doesn't really concern me that much.

That Zenitar sounds like a good deal!

Where to find? Is ebay the better place to hunt for one?
12-02-2009, 09:50 PM   #8
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The Zenitar is a 16mm f2.8 fisheye lens. It was designed as a film lens, and on film it has a 180 degree field of view measured diagonally - in other words, you have to check to be sure your feet aren't in the frame. On digital, the fisheye effect and field of view is diminished.

It's a completely mechanical lens, no autofocus or in-camera aperture control. For this lens, these features are not a big deal. You can often set the aperture ring at f8, the focus ring at a close approximation of your subject distance, and let the huge depth of field cover any errors. In fact, details in the viewfinder are sometimes too small to see and focus on. It would be nice if the distance scale was marked in feet too.

The lens is still made in Russia in many different mounts. You want to be sure to get the K mount. EBay has several different sellers that will ship them from Russia, and some already in the US.

There's a lens review here if you're interested in more details. I liked mine, I replaced it with a slightly better Sigma that's much harder to find.

12-02-2009, 11:08 PM   #9
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if you are looking for a cheap lens, look for the Zenitar if you dig fisheyes !!!
12-02-2009, 11:25 PM   #10
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I am thinking that Sigma AF 24/2.8 Macro II can be a good choice.
12-03-2009, 03:41 AM   #11
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I went with a Zenitar 16mm f/2.8 fisheye for the really wide stuff ... and picked it up for a reasonable (reasonable for us Aussies where camera gear gets expensive).

I also came across a reasnably priced Sigma 17-35mm f/2.8-f/4 lens (as I already have a 28-70mm f/2.8 lens).

Although I am thinking of selling the 17-35 and 28-75 ... and getting the Sigma 17-70mm lens. Just to save space in my bag really as my current 2 are BIG lenses to lug around and hold/mount.
12-03-2009, 05:05 AM   #12
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Wide angle

I wanted a wide angle lens too, and preferably an affordable FF one. So I bought the Zenitar 16mm f/2.8 fisheye at eBay for a fair price (it was below 200 EUR, incl. shipping, from someone who mentioned that the Zenitar lenses he sold were all checked for QC issues).

I'm very happy with it -my wide angle longing is satisfied. The fisheye effect does not disturb and I don't get tired of it (with my APS-C camera, I did not try it yet with film). Of course it's no 100% substitute for a normal wide angle but for me it comes closer than I thought.
12-03-2009, 08:35 AM   #13
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You can get a Tamron 17mm f/3.5 with an adaptall mount for $150 or so, though the mount will cost a bit more, especially for the KA version. A decent lens that looks totally badass
12-03-2009, 10:33 AM   #14
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SMC PENTAX-M 28MM F2.8 WIDE ANGLE LENS MINT+ - eBay (item 120500528973 end time Dec-08-09 10:27:30 PST)


How about this guy?

What size does this turn into on a digital camera? (Actually if someone could give me the equation to convert sizes from 35mm to APS-C focal equivalent it would be awesome..or whatever size sensor a K10 uses)
12-03-2009, 10:55 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Raptorman Quote
SMC PENTAX-M 28MM F2.8 WIDE ANGLE LENS MINT+ - eBay (item 120500528973 end time Dec-08-09 10:27:30 PST)


How about this guy?

What size does this turn into on a digital camera? (Actually if someone could give me the equation to convert sizes from 35mm to APS-C focal equivalent it would be awesome..or whatever size sensor a K10 uses)
Just multiply by 1.5 -- a 28mm on APS-C has the angle of view of a 42mm on film.
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